“I’ll never do this again!” How many times have you said that after binging over the holidays? You feel heavy, bloated, sluggish. You’ve likely consumed more calories and toxins than normal, and your body is rebelling. Time to purify your blood and organs by removing toxins absorbed from processed foods, GMOs, pesticides, and the environment. Fasting also helps by unburdening the body from digesting more meals, but it takes some discipline and time. Instead, cleanse and rebalance your system more naturally and easily in the five following ways:
1. Reduce sugar
We list this one first because it should apply to everything you eat or drink while detoxing. When you eat more sugar — from fruit to honey — you’re demanding more insulin from the body and straining your pancreas. Over time this can cause chronic fatigue, diabetes, weight-gain, and even cancer. Replace sugary foods with naturally energizing, nutrient-dense, detoxifying ones.
2. Eat natural detox foods
Replenish your body’s nutrition and energy with plant-based foods — preferably organic, to avoid toxins — that are easy to digest and naturally detoxifying like these:
- Seasonal fruits are rich in vitamins — and in water, which helps flush out toxins — and easily digested. Apple and pineapple eaten raw before and/or after a meal are excellent detox aids. Citrus fruits flush out toxins, too, and stimulate enzymatic processes in the digestive tract. Start your day with lemon juice added to a warm glass of water (see No. 5 below).
- Green veggies and herbs contain tons of vitamins and minerals, as well as chlorophyll, that’s very cleansing to your digestive tract. Asparagus, broccoli, carrots, beets, garlic, kale, oregano, and turmeric are high in sulphur, which help the liver detoxify harmful chemicals.
- Fermented foods like kimchi (Korean pickle), kombucha (green or black tea), and sauerkraut are natural sources of probiotics that aid digestion and help alleviate bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
- Ginger added to hot or cold beverages, or consumed raw, provides relief from bloating, indigestion, and nausea, often caused by overeating or consuming gas-causing foods like dairy, cruciferous vegetables, peas, and soybeans.
3. Drink smoothies and juices
Replace one of your daily meals with a high-nutrient, high-energy beverage to boost your liver’s functions: metabolism, detoxification, and synthesizing proteins and hormones.
- Smoothies made with plant protein and dark leafy greens are a refreshing, nutritious meal in a glass. Web-search for vegan smoothie recipes that use plant milks instead of dairy. Plant-sourced protein powders help balance blood-sugar levels throughout the day.
- Juicing is another healthy way to detox, especially for the gluten-free or dairy-free folks out there. Excellent detoxifying vegetables to juice include: basil, beets, carrots, and kale. Veestro offers a Cleansing Tonic and a 3- or 5-day Juice Cleanse
Whether aerobic or just a brisk walk, exercise promotes the detoxification process by stimulating blood circulation throughout the body, delivering nutrients to all the organs and muscles, and working up a sweat that releases toxins through the pores of your skin. Plus, you burn those calories you wore on your waist after the holidays that prompted your detox plan in the first place!
5. Hydrate and cleanse
Water is a wonder for detoxifying. The body’s most basic functions rely on water (for saliva, perspiration to sweat out toxins, and removing waste). So, drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily — preferably purified. Don’t care much for water? A slice of lemon or cucumber makes it taste better. In fact, lemon water strengthens liver function and the immune system. Or, an herbal tea made with lavender, peppermint, or rosemary offers a delicious detox drink.
Corine Gotti, “5 Natural Ways to Detox the Body,” Beliefnet
“5 Ways to Detox after the Holidays,” Star2.com
Robin Konie, “5 Ways to Detox Your Body Safely and Gently,” Thank Your Body